Establish a System-wide Inventory of Traffic Signal System Technology to Improve Evaluation Capabilities and Effectively Monitor Agency Investments.

Advanced Traffic Management Systems Deployed in Cities in Arizona Provide Lessons Learned in Inventory Process, Configurations and Technology Evaluation.

Date Posted

Evaluation of Traffic Signal Communication

Summary Information

This study evaluated Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) technology deployments on three arterial study corridors in the cities of Tucson, Nogales and Maricopa in Arizona based on criteria relating to  aspects such as operations, maintenance, performance measurement, and cost. Field visits were conducted in the Fall of 2016 to inventory each corridor’s system, and when available, the data obtained were used to quantify performance in terms of system functionality and system efficiency. A prototype spreadsheet was developed using Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) to score corridor deployments based on predefined criteria.

Lessons Learned

The following recommendations are summarized based on the study:

  • Maintain an inventory of deployed technology on arterial corridors. An inventory would help the agency personnel know exactly which technology is deployed even if they were not initially involved in the deployment, with added benefits of being able to manage technology assets.
  • Identify minimum and ideal configurations of technology for future corridor deployments. Communications and ATMS software are recommended for all corridors. Anonymous Re-Identification devices (ARID) can help provide data for travel-time-related performance measures, but are not necessary if an ideal detection system is in place. ARID devices can be used to obtain travel times if funds are lacking to install the ideal detection systems. Surveillance cameras are optional.
  • Use standardized testing for exploration of different technology capabilities. It is recommended that each technology undergo standardized testing for different qualities so that the marginal benefits of each technology in different scenarios are understood.
  • Conduct a comparison between supplementary technologies. For example, data loss due to the occlusion of cameras could be a concern in corridors with high truck volumes. However, numerous factors—including the rate of data loss, truck volume on the corridor, and the impact of data loss on performance measurement quality—would all need to be evaluated before an educated decision could be made whether to use cameras or a technology like radar.
  • Conduct a comparison between the same technologies from different vendors. Same technology from different vendors may require different configurations, use a different number of devices to achieve full coverage of an intersection, and may require different maintenance routines. Additionally, their products will likely provide different levels of data completeness and quality, and may come with different additional features.
  • Consider a way to score cost while accounting for the number of intersections for more accurate cost comparisons. This may allow for corridor evaluations that are more specific.
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